Free App, MIDI LE, Adds USB MIDI Support To iOS


Developer Matthias Frick has released an updated version of his free MIDI LE app that adds USB MIDI support.

Alongside its MIDI over Bluetooth functionality, MIDI LE now can establish connections to iOS Devices via a USB Lightning or 30-Pin cable. This means that Macs without Bluetooth LE can now make use of low-latency MIDI, without the need for separate hardware.

Here’s how it works:

  • Download and install MIDI LE, along with the free partner app for Mac (available on the MIDI LE website).
  • Connect your iOS Device to your Mac, and launch both apps.
  • MIDI In/Out Ports should now be available in your DAW of choice, as well as in synths on iOS. For those without dedicated MIDI Lists, routing can be done through the MIDI LE app.

According to Frick’s tests, delay is about 1.5 to 2.5ms for a round-trip signal, as shown in the screen capture above, or half that for a one-way trip.

The Mac app is compatible with OS X 10.7 and up.

Frick has also updated his MIDI LE page, which documents his work on MIDI & Bluetooth and also the new MIDI LE USB features.

67 thoughts on “Free App, MIDI LE, Adds USB MIDI Support To iOS

    1. Just succeeded in getting Lemur to work over a cable using this app. Controlled some effect parameters in Live 9 using the SQU4R-E template in Lemur. I couldn’t get it working at first, but once I figured out the right settings both in the Lemur app and in Live’s MIDI setup, it worked perfectly.

      1. How did you managed to get it working with Lemur? – I have tried all the possible configurations but can’t get it working….
        Other apps are fine but not the Lemur which I want the most….

  1. Just tried it out and it is lovely. Since I haven’t had good midi in/out hardware for my iPad i’ve been using MIDI over wifi. bad latency there. It worked slightly better if I did peer-to-peer wifi with the computer and the ipad but that was still not ideal (dense arpeggios would lag/stutter)

    just installed this and sent a bunch of notes from mac to ipad…tweaked BPMs, etc and everything was responsive and in synch. makes my ipad part of the workflow now and I didn’t have to drop money on an ipad/usb midi adapter! going to donate some money to this guy when I get paid.

  2. About time someone did the midi over Lightning/30-pin thing! Thank you developer and yeah, like everyone else is saying, where can I donate some money for a job well done and a solution LONG overdue?

  3. So wait. I can FINALLY just use my regular iPad data-cable and get MIDI I/O to the mac? I too, have tried WiFI with unworkable results. Glad it’s finally here, though, and still scratching my head why Apple just wouldn’t put this into the spec to begin with. Will try later today!

  4. Thank you Mr. Frick for bringing this long overdue feature to us! Like everyone else is saying and I concur: where can I donate money to you? Once again, thanks a ton and it’s about damn time someone did this.

    1. I did a thumbs up for this, but just wanted to re-iterate with a comment: yes please! I know it isn’t a trivial amount of work but if there was a solid PC client I would definitely give you money for it.

      All that being said, kudos on making such a solid solution for this stuff.

    1. We’ve been wondering whether to support iOS7 as well. I know that some people have been putting off going to iOS 8 because 1) they are worried some apps will stop working and 2) iOS 8 is allegedly a bigger memory hog. But iOS adoption rates are pretty high.

      Any people who are still at 7 for a reason?

      1. I’m on ios 7.1.2 on both my ipad 3 and my iphone 5s. The ipad will not be updated to 8 because of the performance hit but the phone will once Apple gets time from all these new gadgets to do some bug busting. But honestly that’s likely going to be ios 9.

    2. I’ve got an older device (iphone 4, max ios 7.1.2 I think) that could be put to good use with this functionality. My current phone is working great with midi le and I could totally see all kinds of applications for older devices to use this technology (especially since many of them have weak batteries and benefit from being plugged in at all times) for things like audio installations and modular controllers! Even if you don’t have time to port this to 7, thank you for putting this out on 8!

      1. So it’s decided: Will make this compatible with iOS 7 in the next update. Started out as an iOS 8 only app due to the bluetooth stuff, but I guess it makes more sense to go at least one version lower now plus it’s not too much work from what I see.

      2. Attention iOS 7 Users: I’d be more than happy to have some volunteers for beta-testing the iOS 7 Version as I don’t have a spare devices flying around to test this. If you think you might want to volunteer, please drop me a line at [email protected] with your e-mail adresse so I can add you to TestFlight Beta-Testing once it’s ready!

    3. Absolutely a need for ios7!!!! I have an original iPad mini, and it is interminably slow with iOS8, and it is my prime musical aid in the studio, I also have an ipad1 (which maxes out at 5.1.1, so thats an obvious no go), but if it would work on iOS 7.06 I would absolutely be thrilled beyond belief!!!

  5. I only updated current ish devices to iOS 8, the iPad 2 3 and mini I left on 7, whilst the 4, air and iphone 6+ are on 8. Granted the older iPads are the kids ones but sometimes we hook them all up.

    Everywhere else is a PC shop, so I’d love to see this on PC, mind you the kids are pretty adept at wrecking the USB charge cables…

  6. Just donated the sum equal to the price of iConnectivity Mio. My respect to Matthias, he made what Apple should have been done long ago. Finally i can use hexagonal keyboard with my DAW without big latency, which messed the timing. I even updated to ios8 for this app (and Wilsonic (: ).

  7. Thanks to everyone and especially those who donated! Appreciate it a lot!
    As for iOS 7: Spent the last 2 hours porting the app down, it is currently approving Beta Review, so if you’re down for some testing drop me a line at matthias (at) 🙂

  8. I use this app all the time to make Bluetooth MIDI connections and it works wonderfully, with a decent latency. Thanks a lot Frick, awesome job.

  9. What a GEM of the App, but I’ve run into problem…
    Cubase PRO 8.05 does recognise MIDI LE, but it states that it’s “inactive” with no way (that I can see) to make it active… 🙁
    Am I doing something wrong..?
    Btw; Running on Yosemite 10.10.2 and iPad Air 2 and iOS 8.13 over USB MIDI.

    1. I had the same problem with Live. When i just installed Midi LE on mac osx, Live was signalling that midi messages are coming in, but the midi track in the DAW was silent. Then i rebooted iPad and Macbook and it began to work properly. Mac OSX Mavericks and iOS 8.1.3.

  10. Hi Matthias,
    I would just let you know that the “download” links on your web page do not work in Firefox. They work fine in Safari, of course.

  11. MIDI LE USB, sounds a fantastic idea. Downloaded the program for my iMac (10.7.5) but when launching it says my OS should be 10.8. or higher. On the MIDI LE website says 10.7 or higher.. ?

    1. Sorry, must’ve overlooked that. Just pushed an update which hopefully makes it run on 10.7. (Also it introduced Notifications upon Connect/Disconnect on OSX 10.8+ – just a minor add-on).
      Still working on the iOS 7 version as I came across some issues.

  12. Hi Matthias!

    Just downloaded the update (midi le usb 2), but now when i try to run the program, it flicks like few seconds on the right top corber of my iMac, but then the icon dissappears and does not look anything like i could do some routing (or adjust preferences or such). I’m running midi le also on my iPad and connecting with original ipad lightning usb cable to my iMac, but I don’t see any midi le in/out ports in my DAW, nor on my apple midi settings. Maybe the update for 10.7. versions still doesn’t work like it should? The program icon shouldn’t dissappear from top right corner, right?

  13. Do you mind getting in touch with me at matthias (at) ?
    Might ask you for some log files to see if this is an easy fix as it might be a few days to go till im able to set up a 10.7 machine for testing

  14. Hi,
    Is it possible making a windows version?don’t mind to pay some money for supporting…donation for midi le is coming.Thanks!

  15. If these MIDI over USB systems use the charge/sync cable for the connection, can the iOS device be powered from the Mac (future PC hopefully) ?

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